Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 76.79
Liaison Mike Wilson
Submission Date Jan. 27, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Victoria
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Susan Kerr
Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Campus Planning and Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a published sustainable dining policy?:
No

A brief description of the sustainable dining policy:
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Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor source food from a campus garden or farm?:
No

A brief description of the program to source food from a campus garden or farm:
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Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host a farmers market, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, and/or urban agriculture project, or support such a program in the local community?:
Yes

A brief description of the farmers market, CSA or urban agriculture project:

UVic is active in efforts to support local farmers and food security on Vancouver Island. Purchasing Services buys directly from local farms, ensuring that the farmers get a fair price and the university guaranteed a reliable supply of produce to satisfy our healthy appetites.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a vegan dining program that makes diverse, complete-protein vegan options available to every member of the campus community at every meal?:
Yes

A brief description of the vegan dining program:

UVic offers a wide range of vegan and vegetarian meal options for students at all our dining outlets on campus including Village Greens, a vegetarian and vegan dining outlet close to our student residences. Vegetarian and vegan options are also available in every menu at food outlets across campus. UVic Food Services is also part of the voluntary Informed Dining program (BC provincial government) which focuses on making nutritional information available to all its patrons.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events (e.g. Meatless Mondays)?:
Yes

A brief description of the low impact dining events:

UVic provides reusable cups, mugs, cutlery, dishes, etc. to many of its catering events, and cafeterias to reduce the impact of waste at its indoor events. Vegetarian and vegan foods is readily available across campus, which is a standard food choice in West Coast Canadian culture. Twice a year, UVic Food Services participates in Love-A-Mug Week which promotes reusable mug use with the purpose of reducing single use cup use. Each week, UVic Food Services donates left over food to the Community Cabbage group that prepares "rescued" food to provide a hot meal to students.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host sustainability-themed meals (e.g. local harvest dinners)?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-themed meals:

Most UVic Food Services meals are sustainability-themed due to the primary purchase of locally grown perishable food stuffs. In addition, if requested, UFS will also host harvest lunches and dinners with only locally grown food at specific catering events and promoted as such.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host a sustainability-themed food outlet on-site, either independently or in partnership with a contractor or retailer?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-themed food outlet:

All UVic Food Services outlets are sustainability-themed with stocked with locally purchased perishables, and the availability of ethically sourced products such as teas, coffee, chocolate (e.g. Fairtrade), non-cage eggs, wild salmon (not farmed), and locally made pizzas and baked goods. All containers used at the outlets or cafeterias are either reusable or compostable. For example, Mystic Market is a zero waste facility as it has no trash bins, as cafeteria waste is all separated by staff into the appropriate recycling or composting streams.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor inform customers about low impact food choices and sustainability practices through labeling and signage in dining halls?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability labeling and signage in dining halls:

All food outlets and cafeterias have signage and labeling that draw attention to sustainable food choices, especially with Fairtrade products. Signage can range from small stickers or labels on the packages to mural size decals on the customer facing wall to the patron. All food outlets include menu that emphasize local ingredients, as well as signs next to the cash registers stating reduced cost for coffee/tea purchases if a patron brings their own reusable mug.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor engage in outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems?:
Yes

A brief description of the outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems:

UVic collaborates with students, staff and faculty to promote the sustainable choices dining services and catering has to offer. Some examples: Love-A-Mug Week (reusable cup promotion, student research projects), Ready, Set, Solve compost food waste research study (collaborated with regional government), Fairtrade campus designation project (collaboration with Engineers Without Borders, student society, Campus Planning & Sustainability), zine collage project (geography students; to promote food landscapes), Community Cabbage (student project that "rescues" food; brings attention to food waste and social responsibility), zero-waste events (collaborates with Campus Planning & Sustainability).


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have other sustainability-related initiatives (e.g. health and wellness initiatives, making culturally diverse options available)?:
Yes

A brief description of the other sustainability-related dining initiatives:

UVic Food Systems promotes culture diversity in its food choices by providing options for cuisines from many cultures around the world. For example, East Asian, Indian, Latin American, Middle Eastern and European foods are readily available at selected food outlets across campus. These food choices reflect the culturally diverse study body and employees present on campus.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor participate in a competition or commitment program and/or use a food waste prevention system to track and improve its food management practices?:
Yes

A brief description of the food recovery competition or commitment program or food waste prevention system:

All UVic kitchens compost all food waste in prep areas. Coffee grounds from machines is also composted. This has been standard practice for many years. In a comprehensive campus waste audit in 2014, it was found that UVic had a diversion rate of 68% largely due to the efforts of our food services staff. See: http://www.uvic.ca/sustainability/resources/reports/index.php


Has the institution or its primary dining services contractor implemented trayless dining (in which trays are removed from or not available in dining halls) and/or modified menus/portions to reduce post-consumer food waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the trayless dining or modified menu/portion program:

UVic has taken a very different approach to waste reduction in Food Services. All meals can be purchased with a tray if the student or employee chooses. When meals are finished, the customer takes the tray and places it on racks with all of the plates, utensils, cups, glasses, food waste, etc.. We have no trash, recycling or composting bins on the dining hall floors. Food Services staff then sort everything on the trays into the correct bins. Collected refundable containers are donated to local charities and ALL food waste is composted. This system has resulted in a very high rate of waste diversion in our dining outlets. Portion sizes are controlled by the food services staff; sizes are set within guidelines that reflect the Informed Dining program and the Canadian Food Guide in conjunction with the campus registered dietitian.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor donate food that would otherwise go to waste to feed people?:
Yes

A brief description of the food donation program:

UVic Food Services collaborates with the campus student group Community Cabbage. This group collects bread ends from Food Services to prepare free hot cooked food for students once a week. However, UVic is prohibited from donating leftover or surplus food by local food regulations, although some is informally donated at Christmas before university facilities are closed until the New Year. UVic also donates large amounts of refundable beverage containers to local charities throughout the year. The students society also runs a campus volunteer-run emergency food bank with food donated from campus staff fundraisers and local grocery stores . The Edible Campus food project harvests fruit (plums, apples, pears) from campus fruit tree which are exclusively donated to the UVic food bank. See: https://uvss.ca/services/food-bank/


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor divert food materials from the landfill, incinerator or sewer for animal feed or industrial uses (e.g. converting cooking oil to fuel, on-site anaerobic digestion)?:
No

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:
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Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a pre-consumer composting program?:
Yes

A brief description of the pre-consumer composting program:

UVic's Food Services and other food outlets compost as much food waste as possible in the kitchens during food preparation and leftover prepared food. Coffee grounds from coffee urns and machines across campus are also composted. These efforts by staff are largely responsible for our 68% waste diversion rate as per our Waste Audit report. See: http://www.uvic.ca/sustainability/resources/reports/index.php


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a post-consumer composting program?:
Yes

A brief description of the post-consumer composting program:

UUVic is a leader in food waste composting with an estimated 74% of all food waste on campus being composted. See our Waste Audit Summary Report: http://www.uvic.ca/sustainability/resources/reports/index.php. This high diversion rate is largely due to the efforts of our Food Services staff who compost all food waste left over food on food trays, and students and employees who take advantage of our many food waste collection bins across campus, inside buildings and on the campus grounds. See: http://www.uvic.ca/sustainability/topics/waste/composting/index.php. UVic's Degrees Catering which provides food for meetings and conferences, also composts food waste as much as possible. See: http://degreescatering.ca/sustainability/index.php


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor utilize reusable service ware for “dine in” meals?:
Yes

A brief description of the reusable service ware program:

All dine-in meals are served with reusable service ware. Take-out cutlery in our Food Service dining areas, including campus residences, are made from plant-based material and are fully compostable. All paper napkins, paper-based take out containers and coffee cups can also be composted in our campus system.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor provide reusable and/or third party certified compostable containers and service ware for “to-go” meals (in conjunction with an on-site composting program)?:
Yes

A brief description of the compostable containers and service ware:

UVic's food services staff are in the process of piloting a reusable/returnable take-out food container program for students living in student residences. Containers could be returned, cleaned and used again. In the interim, we encourage all students and employees to compost our paper-based take-out containers offered in all our outlets.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor offer discounts or other incentives to customers who use reusable containers (e.g. mugs) instead of disposable or compostable containers in “to-go” food service operations?:
Yes

A brief description of the reusable container discount or incentives program:

All of our cafes and food service outlets offer discounts when customers bring their own reusable mugs for hot drink purchases. Discounts vary from $0.25 to 10% depending on the outlet.


Has the institution or its primary dining services contractor implemented other materials management initiatives to minimize waste not covered above (e.g. working with vendors and other entities to reduce waste from food packaging)?:
Yes

A brief description of other dining services materials management initiatives:

UVic has upgraded approximately 75 water fountains across campus to have bottle fillers for easy refilling of reusable water bottles or cups, greatly reducing waste from the sale of bottled water, and bottled water is no longer sold in some areas on campus, including the Student Union Building.

All of UVic's main dining halls have no waste, recycling or compost bins in the customer dining areas. All food trays are returned with all plates, cutlery, bottles or cans, plus food waste and napkins, to central rack areas. The staff then take the trays to the kitchen areas and sort all items into compost, recycling and reusable items. This process has greatly reduced the amount of landfill waste coming from our dining areas.

Other food service areas, including the Student Union Building, have composting bins on the main floor for customers to sort their compostable waste. All offices have the option of participating in a volunteer office compost system where volunteers empty small bins placed in office lunchrooms. See our website for more info http://www.uvic.ca/sustainability/topics/dining/index.php


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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http://www.uvic.ca/services/food/about/sustainability/index.php

UVic is one of Canada's original campuses to serve entirely organic and fair trade certified coffee in all of our cafes and dining outlets. We also serve a selection of organic, fair trade teas, sugar and chocolate.

UVic makes great efforts to support local farmers and food producers. Here are some facts we are really proud of:

-100% of our breads, muffins, buns, cakes and other baked goods come from local bakeries
-30 to 40% of our produce is purchased from Vancouver Island local farms
-100% of our poultry comes from Vancouver Island or the Lower Mainland
-100% of eggs purchased are "cage-free"
-Pizza is either made fresh daily at our Mystic Market or from a local pizzeria that makes efforts to use local ingredients
-100% of salmon is BC-wild caught, not farmed
-UVic is active in efforts to support local farmers and food security on Vancouver Island. Purchasing Services buys directly from local farms, ensuring that the farmers get a fair price and the university is guaranteed a reliable supply of produce to satisfy our healthy appetites.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.